The Baltimore Orioles made several major roster moves, trading pitchers Kevin Gausman, Darren O'Day and second baseman Jonathan Schoop. (Kevin Richardson / Baltimore Sun video)
Just days after homegrown reliever Zach Britton traded his feathers for pinstripes and reliever Brad Brach for a tomahawk, the Orioles cashed in heavily on trade deadline day, sending away starting pitcher Kevin Gausman, set-up man Darren O’Day and second baseman Jonathan Schoop — all of whom had played the bulk, if not all, of their careers in Baltimore.
Here’s what sports writers around the nation had to say about, as Gausman put it, the band breaking up.
“There are those in Baltimore who believe he’ll be the next Jake Arrieta, who did nothing as an Oriole but who, after being dealt to the Cubs, won a Cy Young. That’s probably fanciful. Even so, Gausman should give the Braves the thing they need most at the moment, meaning innings from a starting pitcher.”
“The part where the Orioles acquired international bonus money for Brach and Schoop made me laugh, though. They usually hold an International Bonus Money Day at the park, where they give international cap space to the first 20,000 fans, and now they’re acquiring it on purpose? I know there’s a good reason for it, but still. It’s ... almost like the organizational direction isn’t clearly defined.”
“In return, they collected a bunch of prospects to help rebuild their barren farm system. No one knows how the prospects will pan out, but the O's have fully committed to starting over — and they've shed a ton of payroll in the process.”
“If nothing else, the Orioles finally admitted they needed a full rebuild. Just that admission — and the follow-through of trading players headed to free agency either this offseason or next offseason — is a step in the right direction for a franchise that has been floundering the past couple seasons.”
» Stephanie Apstein of Sports Illustrated reminded readers that baseball players are still people and that, at the end of the day, them getting traded means more to them than just a chess-game by owners and probability statisticians:
“The ones left behind mourn their friends and face the fact that their front office has all but given up, that really it would be better for the future of the franchise if they lost the rest of their games. And the ones taken away try to help a bunch of strangers win a championship while they learn where the bathroom is.
First comes the agony of not knowing. As the trade deadline nears, players become progressively more glued to their phones. Friends and family check in incessantly. No, Mom, I still don’t know anything. Players take the field day after day surrounded by people they know they may never see again. Gausman heard his name in rumors and tried to prepare himself for life without the only team he’d ever known. Schoop’s agent had warned him that morning that there was a 50% chance he would be traded; by the time Schoop climbed into his Uber to head to the ballpark, it was ‘more than 50,’ he said once it was done and he was a Brewer. He was back in his polo as he prepared to leave the ballpark.”